Thursday, 31 July 2014

Aunts, Shopping, Cousins & Animals!

Enjoying the monkeys!
We've had a busy old week this week! My sister in law and two nephews came to visit on Sunday and we've had an action packed week - we went shopping on Monday, Adventure Island on Tuesday and Colchester zoo yesterday and boy have we slept well for it! The shopping, of course meant that Harper was very, very spoilt (especially in the Next sale). She's got some absolutely gorgeous bits and bobs for when she's a little bit bigger... And for now too, even though she has more clothes than me now! Here are the bits we got for her during the week:
Then on Tuesday Riley (the youngest) and Nicky (my sister in law) went to Adventure Island, while Elliott, Harper and I took Lewis (the eldest) to Southend High Street for a bit of shopping and a drink because he wasn't bothered about going on the rides too much - and neither were we so we had a lovely time just ambling about, and I got a hole poke in my nose (it's still sore *sigh*). Of course, madam was spoilt further because Monsoon had a sale on, and have you seen their girl's stuff? It would be rude of me not to have got her something...
Beautiful boy!
The main event though, responsible for my still aching legs, more than 24 hours later, was Colchester Zoo! We had a fab time, and did the whole zoo, Harper is still a bit young for it of course but she had a lovely day just being out and about, and she did enjoy the monkeys! I forgot how hilly the zoo was though, and we were all absolutely knackered by the end of the day (and I was a little grumpy because my hips still hurt 4 months after giving birth... Grrr). We had a lovely week and we can't wait to see them all again, we miss them already!


We had an absolutely lovely week! We can't wait until we do it all over again! Harper has never slept so well!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sensory play!

She loved messy play today!
Now Harper is a little older and sitting a little better I am always trying to think of new things we can do to help her development. I've seen a lot about sensory play and messy play and I've been thinking I'd like to try it with her, but wondered if she was maybe a little young. She is holding her head up a little better I thought it would be quite good to trust a messy play can see how she enjoyed it - as you can see by the smile on her face she loved it! What I did with make up some baby rice because we we won't be using it for weaning any way because we'll be doing baby led weaning. I used the baby rice because it didn't matter too much if she put it in her mouth, which she does with everything else! She had a lot of fun and was giggling the whole time, as she smooshed it all up in her hands and rubbed it on her face and on me - so I'm thinking maybe she is old enough for basic sensory and messy play and it might be good for her! In a couple of months we'll be using colours in the rice or smooshy stuff so it's visually developmental too, but for now I'm pretty sure her little system wouldn't appreciate the food colouring! We've also got her a paddling pool which we fill with ball pit balls (she likes to chuck them round the room when she's in there) and she also loves to splash in the bath - we are thinking of getting her a small paddling pool to use in the garden with toys that she can play with in the hot weather (she hates it, just like her mummy!) I've seen that blowing bubbles is good for hand eye coordination too, so we might be giving that a go - but I am really looking forward to using edible finger paints in a couple of months! Does anyone have any sensory ideas for 4 months olds? Comment below with your suggestions!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Crafty ventures and baby brain

So! This week has been a busy one, I started my new crafty business venture - and oddly, at the same time my brain stopped working. I missed the whole of Tuesday thinking it was Monday for some reason, thus missing the Delta group that I was looking forward to, oops!
Anyway, the new venture! I make fairy doors, figurines and Christmas decorations and more things on the way! I'm just waiting on a shiny new logo from my friend Toni and it'll be perfect! Please do check out my page (and maybe give me a cheeky like!) It's called Harper's Hideaway, and you just have to click on the name!
In other news I've had a bit of a transformation week, turning back into the old me, dyed my hair pink and got it chopped off and I feel better already, just to get my nails done on Friday and get my nose pierced eventually... *cough* I'm very lucky to have a hubby who occasionally works from home and can look after my little while I get some Mummy time!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: Annabel Karmel Quick & Easy weaning

All you need to know about feeding
your baby in the first year
I received this in the post today, and while Harper was sleeping I had a little looksee through it. Bearing in mind Harper is only 4 months next Saturday, she's not quite ready for weaning, but with the wealth of information out there about weaning it's probably a good thing that I'm looking now and not in 2 months. It's all a little overwhelming, and that's what makes this book so good. It's not a thick book, it's not an overly wordy book and it's simple; quick and easy just like the title suggests. The beginning has a lot of information about the whole weaning process, what kinds of vegetables and fruits are best to begin with, and why they're best to use. This is all before the recipes too, (which are fabulous, by the way!) but there are meal plans for the beginning of weaning and as baby gets older and you start to introduce more than one solid meal per day. It's set out nicely, and it's really easy to have a little flick through when you don't have time to have a real read of a book - which, let's face it, if we've got babies we're about to start weaning, we don't have the time to sit and read among the million other things we have to do! It's full of useful information, but it's compacted in to little chunks that are easy to read through but still get all the information you need on hand. The recipes are simple, quick and easy and can all be frozen in an ice cube tray for later use. The first tastes ones are nice and simple and look like they'd be lovely for any little one, especially as far as veggies go - it shows lots of different veggies and fruits that one might not eat if they were fussy so it's good to introduce a really little one to them nice and early in a bid to make sure they're not such fussy eaters as they grow up! The later recipes after the first tastes are fantastic though! Looking through them made me quite hungry thinking about them. Being a foodie myself, I enjoy cooking and making nice meals for myself and my husband, so weaning and cooking for Harper when she's bigger is something that I am quite looking forward to; and making more interesting foods that I can eat too? Sounds ideal to me! We can all have healthy meals, though Harper's will have to be a little squishier than ours of course. When I start using the recipes I will be posting reviews and thoughts about them too, but that won't be for a couple of months... All the same, I heartily recommend the book for the mum (especially the first time mum, like me) who's about to start weaning, it's got some good, clear, information in it and I enjoyed flicking through the recipes thinking about what I'm going to make first! (I am half tempted to make some now and freeze them for later...)

 Disclaimer: A copy of this book was sent to me through a PR contact via Tots100, no monetary exchange has taken place.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Time flies when you're having fun... Or even if you're not apparently!

I'd say TGI Friday, but we woke up this morning to find a paddling pool had been installed on our kitchen floor courtesy of our boiler and washing machine. I think the two may be related or it's just really bad luck - but it's not really the kind of thing you want to be finding first thing in the morning. So, we've rang up and we're getting someone round to fix that today, but in the meantime I've got my biggest saucepan under the pipe. Joy.
The bouncer and I have a
love-hate relationship.
Anyway, I can't believe it's already Friday, this week has gone so quickly! We've had highs and lows this week, mostly in the space of a few hours. For those who follow me on Instagram will have seen my excited post about how Harper was asleep in her crib! In her crib! She has been going through a bit of a stage lately, where she will not sleep in anything but her bouncer, the thing has become the bane of my life quite frankly even though it does allow me to get a full night's sleep, it's not a guilt-free night's sleep because I feel bad for letting her sleep for so long in it. Well, she slept in her crib on Wednesday night, not for as long as I'd have liked, but sleep she did - and it felt like a huge victory as I fell asleep without guilt for the first time in about 3 weeks. Well, it did until she woke up at 4am wanting to play leaving nothing less than trunks under my eyes for the rest of the day afterwards. 
Other than sleeping adventures and paddling pools, we've made great progress in the whole grabbing stuff idea. She particularly enjoys Mummy's hair (that is in desperate need of a cut right now), especially when Mummy is caught unawares in the middle of a nice blowing raspberries on the tummy game! She also enjoys Daddy's chest hair and bracelets. It's good though because we were beginning to worry that she wasn't showing any interest in grabbing things for herself, but she's getting there with it. She gets so excited that she's holding something that she flaps and then flings it quite fast in whatever direction she might be facing - she did the very same thing with her bottle yesterday in fact, and hit the cat who was not even a little bit impressed.
She's also making real progress with sitting with support, she's been able to do it for a little while, but she's noticeably stronger now and holding her head with really good control - she also gets very excited about sitting and celebrates her achievements by shouting, loudly and for a long time. Very exciting apparently, as you can see to the left!

Oh! I nearly forgot! I bought a cover for Harper's NHS red book, and it is adorable! Make it look a little something different and it won't get lost! I love it, and when we're done using it it'll be going in Harper's memory box for her to look at when she's a bit bigger. I've started a memory box for her to look at when she's older, I'll probably go through the contents of it another time, but I hope that one day she'll appreciate it anyway! A bit like the cat we did of her foot that she definitely did NOT appreciate at the time. I digress, if you would like a red book cover, check out Hannah's Red Book Covers on Facebook, just click on the name and it'll take you straight there!